An Attempt on Ashlu

For many students, the decision to come to Quest is made the moment they set foot on campus. This was certainly the case for me. When I visited Squamish for the first time four and a half years ago, I was impressed by the academic rigor of the Quest program, the passion for teaching that the tutors I met embodied, and the enthusiasm and inquisitiveness of the students I ate lunch with. But I was also seduced by Squamish’s Coast Mountains. As a student at Quest, I spent as much time as possible skiing and scrambling in the mountains of the Tantalus Range and Garibaldi Provincial Park. Now, as a newly minted Quest Admissions Counsellor, I’m psyched to spend my evenings and weekends continuing to explore the mountains.

This weekend, Brad (another Admissions Counsellor and Quest Alum), Forest (current Quest student), and I headed deep into the Squamish Valley to try for a peak ascent of a mountain called Ashlu. The online trip reports suggested that the access logging road wasn’t in the best of shape, and that just getting to the trailhead would be an adventure. It was. The Subaru forester was pushed just about to its limits, as were my extremely modest mountain biking skills. We left Quest at 5:30 am and didn’t arrive at the trailhead until just after noon. Unwilling to drive the heavily water-barred logging road in the dark, and worried that a flat tire might turn our day into a suffer fest, we only spent a couple of hours on the trail proper before heading back down the endless logging road towards home. Although we ended up well short of the summit, we were happy to spend a bit of the afternoon in a beautiful – and quite remote – alpine meadow. We got home tired, hungry, and psyched to give it another go.

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